New Delhi: In the first interview after the December Assembly elections defeat in three states, Union minister for textiles Smriti Irani told MyNation editor-in-chief Abhijit Majumder that a spate of controversies has not made her mellow down. She is still as combative as ever.

“My new secretary in textiles, quite a seasoned officer, came to me. I asked, ‘Sir, why do you look so pensive?’ He said, ‘I have heard much about you.’ I said, ‘Everything you have heard about me is true.’”

She then spoke at length on how a diplomat tried to pressure her into signing an understanding which would have made German the third language. She describes how she stopped it.

She also narrated a funny story on how a former high-profile IIT director had wrongly accused her after he failed to bully her in a meeting. “He went out and told my colleagues that I had threatened to throw him out of the window. So, I got windows made in my room and called him back. I told him, ‘Sir, last time there was no window in this room, but this time there is, specially made for you.’”

She said, “If you go after business interests, they come after you.”

Her parting shot was fierce, “A pragmatic politician doesn’t take things head-on. I was naïve enough to take things head-on, And I’m very proud of it. Because we were not voted in to be part of the status quo. We were voted in so that we can challenge it and set things right.”

For the full interview, click on this link